One of our favorite picture books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. In the story, the caterpillar comes out of his egg and is very hungry. He eats and eats and eats until he makes a cocoon – later to emerge as a beautiful butterfly. And what does he eat? He starts off with an apple, then goes through pears, plums, strawberries, and oranges. After that, his food choices get a little more varied. The very hungry caterpillar actually ends up eating something from each of the four basic food groups.
Home Activities using The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a fun book, and here’s a game you can play to go along with it:
The four food groups are meats,dairy, fruits and vegetables, and grains. Now look at the foods the book again. Have your child guess which food goes in which group.
Now it’s time to find the four food groups in your house, too.
Take four sheets of paper. Write the word MEATS on one sheet, DAIRY on another sheet, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES on another sheet, and GRAINS on the last sheet. If your child isn’t reading yet, draw or print out a picture to represent the group. Spread out the papers on the table.
Now open that cupboard! Have your child choose a food item and place it on the correct paper. Did he get it right? Do the same with different food items. Be sure to use some from your refrigerator and freezer, too!
Need more of a challenge? Make a pile of different food items on the counter. Give your child a limited amount of time to place them all in the correct groups. Or, if your child is feeling too pressured, simply time how long it takes them to finish.
Have a very active child? Put each of the category papers in a different room of your house. Then, have them sort through the pile of food items in a limited amount of time, running from one room to the next.
Most importantly, have fun!
Photo by ilovememphis